CT (September 8, 2012) – Waterford Speedbowl returned to action on
Saturday, racing against the advancing weather forecasted for later
on in the evening. The track hosted another NASCAR Whelen
All-American Series racing program, joined by the second and final
appearance of the season by the visiting Valenti Modified Racing
Series. Meriden’s Keith Rocco returned to the winner’s circle in the
night’s SK Modified® feature, picking up his first division win at
the track since July 14th and seventh of the year. Dillon Moltz of
Waterford won his sixth victory of the year in the Bob Valenti Auto
Mall Late Models, while Bill Leonard of Charlestown, RI took his
second win of 2012 in the Mini Stock division. The night’s 100-lap
Valenti Modified Racing Series feature was won by Tommy Barrett Jr.
of Millis, MA, his second straight in the popular open-wheel touring
series. The night’s scheduled Street Stock feature was lost to rain,
with any make-up date to be announced by the track.
The 35-lap NASCAR Whelen All-American Series SK Modified® feature
was led to the green flag by a front row of Keith Rocco and Adam
Gada. Rocco was looking to shake a stretch of disappointing finishes
in recent weeks and bolted out to the race lead. As the field raced
to turn one on the opening lap, bumper tag behind Gada saw several
cars check up, with all staying pointed straight ahead to keep the
race under the green flag. The competition settled into a long green
flag stretch and sorted out many battles for position all around the
Rocco’s lead was seven cars over Joe Perry, while Jeff Rocco moved
into third position and pressured Perry for second by lap-5. On
lap-7 Jeff Rocco finally made the move to Perry’s outside, clearing
him a lap later to set sail on erasing his brother’s lead. Behind
the top three, Jeff Gallup held fourth with Jeff Pearl and Rob
Janovic Jr. in close company. A gap back to a large pack of cars
battling for the back half of the top-ten brought the race through
Out front Jeff Rocco was cutting into Keith’s lead. Perry was
settled in third while Pearl was all over Gallup for fourth. Pearl
found room on the inside down the back chute headed into turn three,
taking over fourth on lap-16. Janovic filled the hole under Gallup
to take fifth exiting turn two on lap-17. Behind Gallup, Kyle James,
Tyler Chadwick and Nichole Morgillo broke out of the next pack of
Back towards the front, the Rocco train at the front looked strong.
Pearl couldn’t shake Janovic loose in a battle for fourth while
James tracked down Gallup for sixth by lap-25, all under green flag
conditions. The first caution finally slowed the lengthy run as Tom
Abele Jr. spun into the turn three wall on lap-27 after trying to
fight his way through the pack.
The restart pitted both Rocco’s against one another, with Keith
leading Jeff into turn one. Jeff Rocco tucked in line behind him
ahead of a battle for third between Perry and Pearl, the latter in
the outside lane. Pearl eventually took the position leaving Perry
in a battle with Janovic and James. James raced the top groove
around both to take fourth position. Janovic followed suit and used
the top-side to get around Perry just ahead of the final caution
flag, which waved as Rich Brooks and Adam Gada were in trouble on
the frontstretch with four laps to go.
The final restart again belonged to Keith Rocco, who pulled out
ahead of Jeff. Pearl had his hands full with James for third
position, watching as James raced the high line around him into
third. Pearl settled into fourth ahead of Janovic. The top-five
raced in order through the checkered flag in a quickly competed
event. Chadwick, the points leader, finished sixth to maintain his
lead by six points over Pearl.
The 30-lap NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Bob Valenti Auto Mall
Late Model feature saw Moltz in a familiar place, Speedbowl Victory
Lane. His sixth triumph of the year started by chasing early leader
Anthony Flannery. Flannery led from lap-1 and watched as Moltz
slowly reeled him in once in second position. The first caution
waved on lap-5 when Jeff Smith spun between turns three and four.
Flannery held his lead on the restart, however Moltz tucked in
behind was was pressuring Flannery’s bumper looking for a way around
by lap-6. By lap-10, Moltz had found his way past to move into the
race lead. Keith Rocco moved to second position racing inside
Flannery on lap-15 at the halfway point of the race, bringing Jason
Palmer and Bruce Thomas Jr. with him by the inside of Flannery.
Smith and Ed Gertsch Jr. tangled in turn two on lap-20 to return the
race to caution.
Moltz was back out front for the restart, bringing the field to
lap-25 when Palmer and Thomas made contact in their battle for
third. Contact on the fronstretch carried into turn one, with Palmer
going around. Moltz continued to lead once racing was back under
green through lap-28 as Flannery and Joe Curioso came together on
The final green-white-checkered flag stretch saw Moltz hold back
Rocco one final time, denying Rocco his second checkered flag of the
night. Moltz padded his points lead with the win, while Rocco and
Ryan Morgan completed the podium finishers.
The 25-lap NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Mini Stock division saw
Leonard in the winner’s circle for the second time of the year. He
held off a host of competition over the final half of the race.
Leonard led through the second caution flag of the race just shy of
its halfway point on lap-12. Leonard led Ray Christian III while Ian
Brew and Ken Cassidy Jr. lined up in the second row for the mid-race
Leonard had his hands full on the restart as Christian raced to his
outside to edge ahead in the lead on lap-13. Cassidy was also in the
outside lane looking for a lane through to challenge for the lead as
well. The top four raced in tight quarters through lap-17, when Jeff
Cembruch spun between turns one and two to return the race to
The intensity level continued to rise at the front on the restart,
as the combination of Leonard, Christian and Cassidy went three wide
for the lead on lap-18. Cassidy got crossed up and out of shape on
the very outside, backing out as the other two pulled back ahead to
resume a side-by-side battle for the lead. The pair put on another
fabulous race out front for the division, remaining within inches
nearing the finish. The two had little breathing room from the
competition behind which included Cassidy, and Sean Caron.
The white flag lap began with Leonard and Christian sewn together at
the door. Cassidy was outside Caron battling hard for third when he
spun exiting turn two. As Cassidy spun across the track others
became collected including Joe Fogarasi and Chris Garside to bring
out the caution flag and interrupt what was shaping up as a photo
finish between Leonard and Christian.
Leonard did not falter on the restart, the race’s final. He held
back the advances of Christian to take the checkered flag. Caron
rallied to take second at the checkered flag while Christian’s fine
run ended up third.
Barrett’s run to the front was stellar in the 100-lap Valenti
Modified Racing Series. He actually started the race last out of the
22 starters after running into problems during his qualifying race.
Barrett used the first half of the race, anchored by long stretches
of racing, to vault into contention just before halfway. He just
began to challenge race leader Chris Pasteryak of Jewett City when
the caution flag returned. Barrett used the outside lane to his
advantage to power past Pasteryak into the lead after the two
battled neck and neck for several laps. Once in the lead, Barrett
held on through multiple restarts in the second half of the event.
Pasteryak ended up second while series points leaders Rowan Pennink
of Pennsylvania and Jon McKennedy of Chelmsford, MA ended up in
third and fourth, respectively.
Just after the completion of the 100-lap Valenti Modified Racing
series event, rain fell over the track, halting the remainder of the
Unofficial 9/8 Valenti Modified Racing Series Race Results
(100-laps): 1. Tommy Barrett, Millis, MA; 2. Chris Pasteryak, Jewett
City; 3. Rowan Pennink, Huntington Valley, PA; 4. Jon McKennedy,
Chelmsford, MA; 5. Rob Goodenough, Swanzey, MA; 6. Charlie Pasteryak,
Lisbon; 7. Norm Wrenn, Nashua, NH; 8. Geoffrey Gernhard, Salem; 9.
Jeff Pearl, Salem; 10. Joe Doucette, Framingham, MA; 11. Jim
Boniface, Winchester, NH; 12. Joey Cipriano, Waterbury; 13. Max
Zachem, Preston; 14. Melissa Fifield, Wakefield, NH; 15. Dave
Etheridge, Portland; 16. Rick Bell, Salisbury; 17. Matt Mead,
Richmond, NH; 18. Mark Bakaj, Lebanon; 19. Todd Patnode, Richmond,
NH; 20. Louie Mechalides, Tyngsboro, MA; 21. Tim Jordan, Plainfield;
22. Dennis Charette, Southington
Unofficial Waterford Speedbowl Saturday 9/8 NASCAR Whelen
All-American Series Results:
NASCAR Whelen All-American Series SK Modifieds® (35-laps): 1. Keith
Rocco, Meriden; 2. Jeff Rocco, Wallingford; 3. Kyle James, Ashaway,
RI; 4. Jeff Pearl, Salem; 5. Rob Janovic Jr., Waterford; 6. Tyler
Chadwick, Ledyard; 7. Nichole Morgillo, Wallingford; 8. Joe Perry,
Ashaway, RI; 9. Ed Puleo, Branford; 10. Craig Lutz, Miller Place,
NY; 11. Jeffrey Gallup, Agawam, MA; 12. William Schneider,
Northport, NY; 13. Brent Sweet, Monroe; 14. Joe Gada, Salem; 15.
Brett Gonyaw, Manchester; 16. Al Stone III, Durham; 17. Adam Gada,
Bozrah; 18. Wendell Dailey, Gales Ferry; 19. Wendell Dailey, Gales
Ferry; 20. Tom Abele Jr., Norwich; 21. Rich Duranti, Quaker Hill
NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Bob Valenti Auto Mall Late Models
(30-laps): 1. Dillon Moltz, Waterford; 2. Keith Rocco, Meriden; 3.
Ryan Morgan, Mystic; 4. Rich Staskowski, Hope Valley, RI; 5. Jeff
Smith, Old Lyme; 6. Jason Palmer, Berlin; 7. Mike Sweeney Jr.,
Meriden; 8. Bruce Thomas Jr., Groton; 9. Ed Gertsch Jr., East Haven;
10. Robert Leblanc Jr., Norwalk; 11. Joe Curioso, Pawcatuck; 12.
Rich Duranti, Quaker Hill; 13. Vin Esposito, Seymour; 14. Anthony
Flannery, East Hampton
NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Mini Stocks (25-laps): 1. Bill
Leonard, Charlestown, RI; 2. Sean Caron, East Hampton; 3. Ray
Christian III, Groton; 4. Wayne Burroughs Jr., Oakdale; 5. Garrett
Denton, Hope Valley, RI; 6. Joseph Liskiewicz, Preston; 7. Nick
Pappacoda, North Branford; 8. Jeffrey Cembruch, Wallingford; 9.
Charles Beal, Ledyard; 10. Christopher Ivory, Oakdale; 11. Travis
Jurcik, Chaplin; 12. Ian Brew, Wood River Junction, RI; 13.
Christina Kellerman, Stratford; 14. Chris Garside, Waterford; 15.
Floyd Chesbro, Griswold; 16. Jeffrey Lee, Uncasville; 17. Glenn
Colvin, Clinton; 18. Ken Cassidy Jr., Lisbon; 19. Joseph Fogarasi,
Columbia; 20. Doug Curry, Groton
NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Street Stocks (25-laps): Postponed
due to rain